November 21, 2006

Shout out

Filed under: Shout out — Tony Bridge @ 10:21 pm


After a couple of the last few comments, it has struck me that this blog is veering way off track and that what I am putting up is becoming way too esoteric to be of much use to you. So it is time to take stock.

I originally started it up so I could keep faith with those of you whom I care about (and there are lots of you), who had been friends and/or students of mine, and whom I was unable to help in the way I wanted to because of the insane pace of my (former) life. It was a way to be there for you and to conitinue to be of service without doing( a bad job of) AP3. After all, you had paid good money to put up with my diatribes and thoughts on photography, and I felt I owed you all( I still do). Your friendship did ( and still does) really matter to me.

Then my personal life went nuclear and it was difficult to keep faith and maintain perspective. But I have tried.
loking at few of the comments of late, it occurs to me that I may be in danger of disappearing up my intellectual …..maybe , like Iago, i think too much. Maybe I have become intellectually arrogant.

I want to hear about it.

So, to all of you out here, especially those of you who visit, and don’t comment, I issue a challenge.

Tell me.

What do you need and what do you not need?

What is helpful and what is not?

What posts do you like and what do you wish there were more of?

What do you hate?

100 people a day hit this blog. I want to hear from all of you, wherever you are-and I would love to know where you are!

Help me out- I want to continue to be of service (and don’t hold back!)

As an incentive, I will personally make and freight a signed, numbered image I have made
to the comment that contributes the most to the future direction of this community. To anywhere in the world!

Just add a comment to the bottom of this post.

muchas gracias.


Vielen Dank




  1. The blogs are all very interesting in their own different ways, but when you write a long thought-provoking one it takes a while to digest what you’ve said before making a comment. By the time I’ve thought of a suitable response you’ve moved on quickly to the next blog. The subject has changed and moment is lost – so I don’t usually post anything. Call me slow and pathetic but you did ask!

    The blogs come fairly thick and fast, which is great, but it then seems a bit irrelevant to go back to a previous blog and write something no matter how much thought I’ve put into it.

    I particularly like the How-to, How-dunnit and Why blogs, but the descriptive writing is very enjoyable, and the provocative ones are, well, deep… I really enjoyed the response to Ian about craft, design and art. Great question Ian!

    Actually I enjoy them all!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — November 22, 2006 @ 7:59 am

  2. Tony:
    Your posts are not going to completely satisfy everybody all the time or it would be evidence that we’re all clones. (Well, I do know you know that.) Some of us will have a greater response to one type of post, some of us to others. As far as I’m concerned, like Anonymous I find them all interesting. Even if some may not seem particularly relevant at the moment, I still like reading them – and I also like knowing that they are there in the Archives if I (or someone I know) should ever need them.

    I think Anonymous has said it all for me, really. I’d agree that the thought-provoking and descriptive ones come a bit too thick and fast at times. I really enjoy those, but would often like longer to chew over the ideas. Since reading those, I’ve been thinking much more about photography and about art in general, I’ve been taking more notice of what’s around me. They make me think. They feed my imagination. I LIKE THAT! And why are you bothered about possibly being too intellectual when you say that “with Fine Art intellectual considerations are a key component”? [Comment in Letter to Ian.] Surely intellectual and philosophical thinking around art in general and photography in particular is all to the good. It becomes a mental background against which we make our images. I’m sure it helps me – for one – work in a more informed way than I otherwise would.

    I like the more practical posts, too – the How-tos and the How-I-Did-Its. And the gear ones. I want more of everything! You’ve answered some people’s queries about technical or skill matters in comments. What about setting up a Question-Box? That could provide a source of topics for some posts.

    Here’s my suggestion: more space for thinking between the heavy duty posts, maybe with a practical post following. We can always skip back to the heavy duty ones to see if someone has added a comment, or we could add one ourselves when we’ve had time to think, even if it isn’t the most recent post by then. It would be good to see a bit more debate and I don’t think it matters if it continues after a new post has gone up. Once archived, or in the “links to this post” sections, the comments all appear immediately beneath the post, anyway, so everything is together when we look back later.

    You’ve got a fascinating blog, helpful, varied and interesting. Don’t measure it by the comments you don’t get!

    Comment by Peregrina — November 22, 2006 @ 11:20 am

  3. Tony

    Great call to action!

    Personally I read your blog to get inspiration on photography, and I would love to see the world through your lens’s – and be able to get close to the same vibrant eye-roaming results.

    Therefore my suggestion is very simple. Keep on doing your thinking blogs, but how about throwing in a workshop style blog now and then. How to, tips hints – on a particular subject. Ie: Rolling hills…go in the morning, use a tripod etc. If you wanted to take your blog one step further – and really want to get this interactive then encourage us to put our results up (somewhere else on WWW) for a critique and pointers.

    Looking forward to seeing your work, and meeting you finally on 1 December.


    Comment by Anonymous — November 22, 2006 @ 12:29 pm

  4. anonymous said…

    For me the technical stuff in photography is a bit like learning to drive a car. You are really aware of what your left foot is doing, when you need to hit the brake etc. As you get better at it (driving that is!!) it becomes more natural so you don’t need to think about every little process in isolation & everything works together.

    Technique for photography is kind of the same. It is extremely important but as your technique improves & things become more natural you use your technical skills as a tool to help say what you want to say. But just like my driving technique we can always upskill our photographic ability. Practice. Practice. Practice.

    We photograph the things we like, the things we think about etc. Therefore we use our technical skills to help us to make our photos say something. We use our technical skills to get what is in our heads out onto a piece of photographic paper. This leads to developing our oen style. If I photograph what I feel then it is MY style – not the teachers, the committees or the local camera club judges style.

    So Tony……… what do I want from your blog???

    While my technical skills are not exactly superb – I am not sure whether this is a slur on the acolyte or the master – there are squillions of web sites, books, magazine articles for me to troll thru for confusion & guidance.

    I want to be made to think for myself. I want ideas so that I can go away & chew on it so I can put my own spin on things. To quote from one of your previos posts – “A great artist may show us the mundane from a totally new perspective; or equally may unpack something we may never before have considered. He/she may give us a completely new perspective on something we have taken for granted.”

    That is what I want.

    Garry – not anonymously

    Comment by garry — November 22, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

  5. PS. I forgot to say that it’s always encouraging when blog authors comment on comments (something you’ve been doing more of recently). This applies especially when someone makes one for the first time. Even just a brief acknowledgement means people know for sure that you’ve read what they’ve written.

    Now all you others out there who haven’t written anything yet: let Tony know what it is that you, personally, would like to read. It will help him get the balance right. If you haven’t commented before and feel shy, you don’t have to fill in a User name or Password. Write your comment, click on Anonymous, type in that string of letters at the bottom for word verification, then click on Publish.

    Comment by Peregrina — November 22, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

  6. Hi Tony

    I also like a mix, and seeing as I’m still struggling at times to get the camera to capture what I see, I find the technical posts very helpful. I don’t know how many of your readers are like that, or whether most are more experienced photographers than me. I guess that’s why you’re asking. 😉

    The only negative that strikes me is that with some of the heavy-duty posts, I’ve found myself skipping a bit of the early description to get to the photograph. In a couple of those I felt like you put a lot into describing how your feelings built up over some hours – I think I’d like even more in that kind of post about how the photograph came out of that. Translating mood and emotion and vision into a photograph seems to me to be a big part of what makes it art, and something I’m just starting to feel my way into. You shining some light on the path would be very helpful!

    The other thing I’m still mulling over with growing enthusiasm is the question you raised of what we can do as photographers to make a difference. I’ve been wondering if there are enough of us in Canterbury to get a group together to do an awareness-raising exhibition? If we could capture the essence of something that Christchurch is losing, maybe that would achieve something. Lowland rivers spring to mind, or the open space on the Port Hills. Would anyone else be interested in this? Or does anyone else have other ideas?

    Cheers, Rebecca

    Comment by Anonymous — November 22, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

  7. Hi Tony,
    I like rambling, consider us your impersonal psychologist trying to figure out whats going on in your head, (no show). Blogs are a two way thing, they are for information to the outside world and for sorting information in your own head, when you write it down you make a commitment to yourself, idealogical or physical.

    I do like things that make you try a bit harder with your photography. This can be technical articals to help with technique, looking at how you see, explaining pictures / art or just how to enjoy the world.
    So far its working, I now have dug out my sharpest lens on the digi – and old Nikkor f1.8 50mm. Jurys still out.

    Keep up doing what you want, its your blog for your reasons , but i suspect you can take a teacher out of the class , but you can’t stop him teaching.
    Have a good night on the opening, I have to shoot a mountain race starting at 5.30 the next moring so sorry, a day in a helicopter wins.

    Cheers – Graham

    Comment by Anonymous — November 22, 2006 @ 10:22 pm

  8. Hi Tony,

    Keep on doing what you are doing and saying it your way. To quote Theodore Suess Geisel “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”

    I particularly liked your desription of driving the Pig Root in the “Rhytym of the Road” post. I drive this road nearly weekly on my way to more distant parts and your writing really resonated with me. I am normally on the road in the early morning or early evening and I really enjoy the velvet drapery of the tussock covered Hawkdun and Kakanui ranges and the stunning cloud scapes.
    People often ask why I choose to take this road and not another, more travelled, highway. I normally reply that going this way often feels like driving through a Graham Sydney painting ( or maybe a Tony Bridge photo!)
    I was crossing the Maniototo the same day you captured the images in your “Roadmarks” post. I stopped at Anderson Lane in the Ida Valley to get some images of the Hawkduns covered in late snow. I was intrigued by the way the Rough Ridge and the Raggedy Range framed the snow covered mountains which lay like a brilliant white barrier at the end of the valley. Alas – my shots pale in comparison with yours. Sigh!
    I do enjoy the technical snippets sprinkled about the place too.

    Keep up the good work.



    Comment by Dion — November 22, 2006 @ 11:23 pm

  9. Thanks guys:
    Keep it coming. I am listening, and really grateful for your comments. Dion, if you are passing this way, do drop in. I owuld love to meet you( and indeed anyone else going past! There is a great cafe here!

    Comment by Tony Bridge — November 23, 2006 @ 7:38 am

  10. Rebecca – I’d be interested. I’ve been wondering what I could do for a project, too. The state of the city’s rivers and the development on the Port Hills are two things I’m concerned about.

    Comment by Lesley — November 23, 2006 @ 10:06 am

  11. Hi Tony
    I agree with all the comments – and I too have gone back and added a late note to comments in previous posts and answered your questions (Rhythm of the Road stirred me too) – what you are doing is teaching us to think and look and try and create our own feelings in our photos – get out of the literate and into the emotional – it will in no way replace the feeling and help one gets when standing next to you on a lake edge at 5.00 am in mid winter waiting for the moment! – (the two minute ciggy time you once said! or was that Richard Poole?) but it will go a small way to keeping us enthused and moving forward.

    As said above – it is your blog – and we are seeing into your mind – and you are opening it up to the world – scary stuff! – hopefully we can do that too with our own minds and ultimately images – sometime

    Keep up being proactive and doing what you want – and also being reactive to questions that are raised in the comments – you are sharing your knowledge in a big way and in the modern way – via the ether – just great

    Something must be working – my spouse the other day in one of ousr discussions ‘what is art’ phew . . . . . . . should I tell him ??????????

    Cheers and Thanks for your thoughts

    Comment by Anonymous — November 23, 2006 @ 12:48 pm

  12. Hi Tony,

    Ive been away from a computer for a week or so and I come back to see you chickening out from the really interesting stuff. Dont – I love it but keep up all the other bits as well.

    In short your blogg is challenging and interesting and it is the first place I clicked after I waded thru my full inbox.

    I ruminated (kinda taken with that word!) over your answer to my question and basically went round and round going nowhere. It was fun but in the end I concluded that none of it really mattered. I decided it was just the intellectual form of “pixel peeping”. The answer always aimed at pixel peepers is “Make more pictures!!” and at times that is just what I need aimed at me.

    There are real world reasons that my camera stays in its bag for too long at times. When that happens I find your blog a great place to go just to see how you have been making your pictures while I cant make mine.

    And yes the odd inspiration Ive had has made it to my visual dairy.

    Dont change a thing.

    See you next week.


    Comment by Anonymous — November 24, 2006 @ 8:11 pm

  13. Hi Lesley

    Great to hear you’re interested too. Are you going to Tony’s Darfield opening? If so, maybe we could get together there.

    And anyone else?

    Cheers, Rebecca

    Comment by Anonymous — November 25, 2006 @ 11:30 pm

  14. Hi Rebecca,

    I hope to be there on Friday. We can ask Tony to point us out to each other. Will ring a friend or two to see if there’s more interest.

    I’ve been vaguely mulling over an idea for a while. Your comment the other day has spurred me into taking a more serious look at it.

    Kind regards,


    Comment by Lesley — November 26, 2006 @ 3:09 pm

  15. Hi Tony

    I regularly read your blogs and enjoy them. I find I need to make more time to photograph and make pictures and try things out. My problem, no one elses! This too when digesting some of the heavier postings. They make me think and even if I don”t have time then, I can always refer back to them. So, please don’t cut them out. Like the technical suggestions too. I would be pleased to hear about technical/other photography websites worth spending time on. I like any practical and technical help. There is so much to learn and do.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 26, 2006 @ 8:33 pm

  16. Keep it going the way it is Tony. Would rather read stuff that comes from the heart, even if not always my cup of tea, than posts that are designed to please everyone and are consequently bland. Mind you, if you come up with any great technical tips from time to time (eg. workflow, photoshop etc), then would be happy to read them!

    Comment by Richard S — November 27, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

  17. Less is more.

    Comment by pen — November 28, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

  18. I enjoy the quotes from other photographers. They are thought-provoking too.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 28, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

  19. Thanks much for asking.

    I asked myself why I check into your site every few days. These were my thoughts:

    I need input, inspiration, discussion, education, guidance. And I need it from a friendly, non-commercial source; a real person. A real person who really knows and loves image making.

    I like my technical information dribbled into my less than technical mind in easily digested bits.

    I love viewing images and discussing the why, how, essence and impact.

    I like discovering what I don’t know and where to learn more about it.

    I like discussion that relates image making to literature, history, religion, sociology; all those things that the images are born from.

    I dislike reading on computer screens. I like to print out longer blogs and information packed pages for comfortable reading. Simple font on a light plain background works for me.

    You asked “What do I hate? ”

    Not being able to get the pictures out of my head and into other’s.

    But I’ll keep trying with your help.

    Thanks Tony.

    Comment by mary jo — December 2, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

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