Why do you take photos?

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Steve
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I am always curious as to why people take photos. It seems like such a simple question, but I suspect the answer can vary quite a lot from person to person and sometimes be quite complex. In my case it is a desire to discover and to communicate. The discovery is because I often find things that I couldn't with just looking at something (I get a permanent record instead of a fleeting glimpse) and the communication is so I can show others (and then get their feedback). But, I think this developed over time and initially all sorts of other things came in, from the discovery that I was quite good at it , to the technical challenge of learning how to use different lenses and equipment. They still play a part as variety does keep us going. Boredom is the surest way to get sick of something.
 
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Rob
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I use photography as a way to take my mind off a lot of things. I've had some pretty severe issues with depression and my general health over the last few years, and, as such, found it difficult to relax and 'get away'. Sitting at the side of a rugby pitch taking photos or wherever else I am is my way of having a bit of respite.
 
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Dominic
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I do ask this of myself sometimes and I don't know if I've come up with a definitive answer yet.
I do enjoy the time alone walking through woods and countryside. That said I'm pretty rubbish at landscape photography. I spend all week at work and live on site, so it's a way of getting away.
 
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David
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Insects are amazing and should be photographed in the best detail possible.
I also like taking photos of family but it is mainly interesting. My mother in law said to me "All your photos on facebook from your holiday are full of insects" (she said it like it was a bad thing).
 
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Stephen
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Loved it for 4 years and now find that I'm so critical, I don't want to bother with it again. Hmm. Just can't be bothered, mojo gone.
 
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Probably much the same reason I've said before.
;)

I spend all day being technical, so it's a creative outlet, along with cooking. I also find it's a very good way of invoking memories.
 
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Best reason i can think of as to why I take photographs is that it takes me to places I would otherwise never get to see, or even know about. Since I’ve had my camera I’ve discovered rather a lot of interesting local places - old abandoned churches, stately homes, nature reserves, landmarks - and also learnt a bit of local history along the way. It’s also taught me to see the world in a slightly different way and to look for visual interest in amongst the the smaller details and to search out interesting light.

It’s also nice when hobbies overlap. I’m a keen angler and trying to figure out creative shots when at the water’s edge is something I’d like to explore.
 
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Soeren
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To see how things look on photos. :thinking: :)
 
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Phil
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Mostly for money, sometimes to make memories, but in the wider sense, because I wasn’t as good at painting as I wanted to be.
 
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Chris
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Well... It all started 30 years ago when I was at college doing Electrical and Electronic Engineering. A girl I fancied was doing Photography as the 'Wednesday Afternoon Activity', I enrolled too and lets just say that it led me to discovering a couple of creative outlets...

Said girl is now part of history but photography has remained an on-off hobby ever since. Coincidentally (or perhaps subconsciously) I've ended up being involved professionally in the electro-optics field for very specialist (military) applications. Photography remains as a welcome artistic/creative outlet for an otherwise died in the wool Engineer while appeasing my shameless love of gadgets. Two big boxes ticked!
 
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Tilly
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I like capturing moments and scenes. I guess I like taking pictures that I like looking at and like showing to others
 

Fuji Dave

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FUJI SON
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Richard
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Because they are there.
 
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Mike
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For me i think it started as i wanted to capture moments, just for me to look back on and remember times i would have otherwise forgotten about. Now its either taking pictures of my daughter to keep precious memories or a way to kind of escape life and relax when I'm off doing landscapes.
 
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Mike
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Turn the question on ts head, ask not why you TAKE photo's, but why you LOOK at photo's!

All to easy for the answer to why do you 'take' photo's to essentially boil down to... "Err.well, it's like, err, what cha do, innit?" basically its something to do, and get even more strained from there, as the camera starts to become the focus of attention over the pictures it makes.

Look at face-book or Instagram other host sites, and the proliferation of pictures that would seem to have been taken for no other reason than they some-one happened to have a camera, more still published and promoted them, for little reason more than they can!

B-U-T.. I have to say, that in that contrary to common convention, I actually find more 'casual' photo's taken like this, more stimulating, more interesting and more worth-while, than an awful lot of the cliche'd, over worked 'dross' churned out by photo-enthusiasts.... whilst all too often displaying a far greater degree of purity ad honesty, in the lack of pretension in the inception....

"Oooh! That looks interesting! I'll take a photo of that!"
And because they have a camera, they do, and it makes an interesting photo. Rather than camera fan, picking up camera and then asking "OK, so what would make a good thing to take a photo of."... so often followed by... "Oh, that's a bit disappointing! It was far more interesting when I saw it!.... I wonder.... what can I do with it in photo-shop?!"....

So ask why you LOOK at a photo; what in a picture makes it worth your time and attention; what makes it interesting, amusing, entertaining informative... THAT is what I would hope to capture in the photo's I take, whether for me to look at, or any-one else, because ultimately, if no one ever looks at itm no point ever having taken it.....
 

sirch

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Chris
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It's the right mix of technology and creativity. And it is progressive in the sense that there is always something to learn, something new.
 
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So ask why you LOOK at a photo; what in a picture makes it worth your time and attention; what makes it interesting, amusing, entertaining informative... THAT is what I would hope to capture in the photo's I take, whether for me to look at, or any-one else, because ultimately, if no one ever looks at itm no point ever having taken it.....
Is that a bit simplistic though? There are times I've an image in my head I want to create, that might take me several attempts to create. I can definitely think of some of the car images I've tried with different lighting techniques that I've worked at for a few evenings, taken so many images trying to get the lighting or angles right just to get that one image. In fact theres been a number of times I've just played with lighting techniques, not for producing an image, but to get the technique nailed down for a later project.

So there's different reasons fro different people. Yes there's often a target viewer, be it just yourself, family or a wider audience, but for some it's just the excuse to get out and do something, some exercise, or perhaps practice a technique for later. All sorts of reasons. We're all different people with different reasons producing different images and we should celebrate that, it makes the world interesting.
 

KIPAX

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KIPAX
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Good work in these days of reducing press photography.
less than half my income is press photography.. regional only and this year (from august) totally given up on nationals .. web sales, regular and one off commisions plus a couple of other revenue stream all make it work and although i worry every year that it may all end... it's actually as i say getting better every year :)
 
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Mike
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Is that a bit simplistic though?.
Not really... Three questions before you press the shutter;-
1/ Who; is going to look at this?
2/ WHY are they going to look at this?
3/ What will they find 'interesting'?
If you have an 'idea', and attempt an academic exercise to see what you get, the answer is, 1/ Me! 2/ To see if it worked! 3/ The technique being practiced and whether it did indeed work or not! The questions are still pertinent, and probably more than anywhere else; and the 'audience' all be it an incredibly small and fleeting one, of err. you, briefly, still exists and you are most assiduously shooting to brief for a specific audience, one you conveniently you know IS going to actually look at the end result, have reason to, and interest in, giving the picture a sultana dater or raisin whatever it is!.
Its just a matter of approach and as simple or convoluted as you choose to make it really, which doesn't detract at all from its importance.. unless picture looked at, may as well never have been taken.... so who, why, what!
 
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Tony
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I don't bother with the whole "pictures" thing most of the time.
I'm more of a gear enthusiast.
 
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David
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Gives me the best excuse to get away from the wife for a few hours!
I really wish that my wife would come out with me looking for insects, it only rarely happens. She and my son asked me what I wanted to do for father's day and I said lets all go to bed early the night before and get up early looking for insects to photograph. They said "That is not happening".
 
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I really wish that my wife would come out with me looking for insects, it only rarely happens. She and my son asked me what I wanted to do for father's day and I said lets all go to bed early the night before and get up early looking for insects to photograph. They said "That is not happening".
You're just selling it wrong. "Lets go out for breakfast", ok so it's a sunrise picnic but... :D
 
OP
Bollygum
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Steve
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I use photography as a way to take my mind off a lot of things. I've had some pretty severe issues with depression and my general health over the last few years, and, as such, found it difficult to relax and 'get away'. Sitting at the side of a rugby pitch taking photos or wherever else I am is my way of having a bit of respite.
Sounds like a good coping strategy to me.
Best reason i can think of as to why I take photographs is that it takes me to places I would otherwise never get to see, or even know about. Since I’ve had my camera I’ve discovered rather a lot of interesting local places - old abandoned churches, stately homes, nature reserves, landmarks - and also learnt a bit of local history along the way. It’s also taught me to see the world in a slightly different way and to look for visual interest in amongst the the smaller details and to search out interesting light.

It’s also nice when hobbies overlap. I’m a keen angler and trying to figure out creative shots when at the water’s edge is something I’d like to explore.
Similar to why I got into it, and it just developed from there.

I am at a disadvantage on this site since I sleep when you are all awake and visa versa. I hadn't even noticed that there were any replies on this until now and I can't respond to all the comments. As I think I said, my primary reasons are discovery and communication. Photos help me see things and then communicate what I see.
 
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