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Old Mar-22-2012, 10:41 AM
#21
bdcolen is offline bdcolen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSL View Post
So what are you saying, BD? Never shoot and tell? You're a teacher. How does that square with teaching? I've always found interviews with people like HCB and Elliott Erwitt not only interesting, but sometimes instructive.
Yes, interviews with outstanding photographers can be interesting.
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Old Mar-22-2012, 10:43 AM
#22
RSL is offline RSL OP
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I didn't think you were disagreeing, Richard. Quite the contrary. Like you, I don't care whether or not Erwitt set up that shot, any more than I care that Doisneau set up Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville. But my bottom line question is whether or not dgrin is partly for teaching. If it is, then it seems to me it might be interesting to hear from people about their approach when what they're posting is other than the usual "stand-up, point, and shoot" kind of thing. I couldn't care less about shutter speeds, apertures, ISOs, etc.: the kind of thing Pop Photography and Shutterbug seem to feel is so important, but I'm always interested to hear about how people approach their subjects -- especially if it's out of the ordinary. From the responses so far, sounds to me as if I'm not the only one.
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Old Mar-22-2012, 11:22 AM
#23
bdcolen is offline bdcolen
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So let me understand this - first off, it matters not whether the photographer who said ""The marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street," posed his best known "street photot?" And further, explaining that one took a nicely exposed and focused but otherwise mundane photo of an older gentleman by using the famous under-the-leg-over-the-cushion technique qualifies as "teaching?"
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"He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan

"The more ambiguous the photograph is, the better it is..." Leonard Freed
Old Mar-22-2012, 11:35 AM
#24
bfjr is offline bfjr
Which Way Did They Go
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSL View Post
So what are you saying, BD? Never shoot and tell? You're a teacher. How does that square with teaching? I've always found interviews with people like HCB and Elliott Erwitt not only interesting, but sometimes instructive.
Depends on the setting Russ.
When B.D. Teaches a class he, well Teaches.
Here it's all about showing/sharing and and if someone wants a how to, then they need
only ask in a comment. That's how I conduct business here

Now on to something else:

Quote:
This isn't the kind of shot I'd normally post here, but I see Ben do this kind of thing often, without explaining how he made the shot. Many times you get something really worthwhile this way, and Ben often does. It's worthwhile pointing out again that, as Cartier-Bresson said, "It's always luck."
I really don't do as much "Hip" shooting as that paragraph suggests.
100% sure I've never done a thru the leg, under the knee thingy

Having just watched an 1hr long interview by Charlie Rose with Bresson, in which it went
something like this:

Charlie, "When do know you have a good image"
Bresson, "I see it (makes frame Lines, I smell it (touches his nose), I feel It (touches his chest)"
Charlie, "So thats all, there is more?"
Bresson, "Qui" "You have to know how move your little finger (moves finger as if rolling shutter), the rest is just Luck"

Luck here I believe is being used to encompass all those things that can not be
controlled, light, place, subject, etc. etc. (in the genre of "Street" of course)

A few minutes later,

Charlie, "What do you think makes your images so compelling?"
Bresson, "Geometry"
Charlie, "Geometry?"
Bresson, "Qui, Geometry, Qui of course!"

To me this clearly is a tad more complicated then just plain old Luck!
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Old Mar-22-2012, 11:42 AM
#25
RSL is offline RSL OP
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Doisneau never claimed that shot wasn't set up, BD. Yes, it was staged. Doisneau set up a lot of his shots. So what's your problem with it? There are a bunch of Erwitt shots I'm not too sure about, but they're still great shots.

What would "qualify" as teaching, BD? A dog with a bag over its head?
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Old Mar-22-2012, 11:50 AM
#26
Richard is offline Richard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcolen View Post
So let me understand this - first off, it matters not whether the photographer who said ""The marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street," posed his best known "street photot?"
I suppose it could matter if you are making judgments about the photographer, but I don't believe it matters when evaluating the image. I suppose it would also matter to a curator or scholar trying to fit the shot into whatever arbitrary taxonomy was in fashion. Dunno, I think it's a wonderful image and I couldn't care less whether it was staged or he shot it standing on his head and holding the camera with his toes. (Don't try that at home ). The image speaks for itself, right?
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Old Mar-22-2012, 11:58 AM
#27
seastack is offline seastack
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Sometimes reading this forum is like watching this dog.
Old Mar-22-2012, 12:04 PM
#28
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Yes, I've seen that clip, Ben, and it would be a mistake to take literally all of what Cartier-Bresson says in those clips. I think what Henri meant about luck was that you can't make it happen -- unless, of course, you set it up. But both "Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare" and "Cardinal Pacelli in Montmarte" fly in the face of the idea that Cartier-Bresson always arranged the geometry carefully. Yes, he did in most cases, and his geometry is one of the marvelous things about most of his pictures. But he didn't avoid shooting when he had little -- sometimes almost no -- chance of a successful shot. And you're right. What he's talking about is more than just a "tad" more complicated than, well, let's call it "dumb luck," because that better describes what it isn't.

But where was your camera when you shot "Stop Requested?" I'll venture a guess it was in your lap, though I'll confess in advance I could be wrong. I'm pretty sure you didn't frame the shot with the camera at your eye.
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Old Mar-22-2012, 12:12 PM
#29
RSL is offline RSL OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
I suppose it could matter if you are making judgments about the photographer, but I don't believe it matters when evaluating the image. I suppose it would also matter to a curator or scholar trying to fit the shot into whatever arbitrary taxonomy was in fashion. Dunno, I think it's a wonderful image and I couldn't care less whether it was staged or he shot it standing on his head and holding the camera with his toes. (Don't try that at home ). The image speaks for itself, right?
Right on, Richard. That's an art object that stands on its own feet however it was made. What really pisses me off is that I keep seeing it in shops with no attribution.
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Old Mar-22-2012, 12:17 PM
#30
bdcolen is offline bdcolen
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Well, Richard, yes and no. It is indeed a gorgeous image, and probably sells just as many poster's for adolescent girls' college dorm rooms now as it did when it was believed to be a candid street shot. However, and this is where I think this is important, staging an image, with actors, where you control the circumstances, the pose, etc., is a far cry from seeing an affectionate couple on the street, waiting for the right moment, and getting a shot like the one we're discussing where you do not control anything except exposure and composition. One is an advertising shot without the copy over it; the other is candid photography at its best.

As to "geometry," Ben - that's what Cartier-Bresson's images are all about. He was not really a photo journalist, though he did some photo journalism. And in some ways, he was not a photographer of people, although people are in most of his photos. What he cared about was composition, bringing elements together in a kind of perfect geometry. His work is gorgeous, but much of it is devoid of emotion. As I've said here before, Cartier-Bresson's work smacks you between the eyes, while Eugene Smith's hits you in the heart or gut. I'm a Smith guy myself, though I certainly admire Cartier-Bresson's work. and consider it matchless.
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"He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan

"The more ambiguous the photograph is, the better it is..." Leonard Freed
Old Mar-22-2012, 12:18 PM
#31
RyanS is offline RyanS
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Russ. I am glad at the very least your posts are being looked at and discussed. I've got plenty of posts that received less than 3 responses, despite having been viewed hundreds of times. Any attention, even a negative reaction, seems better to me than silence. That is the ultimate insult..

I find understanding the story behind an image helps draw me in more. Music appreciation classes did the same for me regarding music. I find I enjoy a piece of music a great deal more if I learn about the technical aspects, musicians, their life, and how the song came in to existence. i find the same is true for most art. I think each person is different in this regard. To each his/her own.
Old Mar-22-2012, 12:21 PM
#32
bdcolen is offline bdcolen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSL View Post
Right on, Richard. That's an art object that stands on its own feet however it was made. What really pisses me off is that I keep seeing it in shops with no attribution.
Just like any other advertising photo.
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"He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan

"The more ambiguous the photograph is, the better it is..." Leonard Freed
Old Mar-22-2012, 12:47 PM
#33
bfjr is offline bfjr
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Quote:
But where was your camera when you shot "Stop Requested?" I'll venture a guess it was in your lap, though I'll confess in advance I could be wrong. I'm pretty sure you didn't frame the shot with the camera at your eye.
That's unfair, Russ.
You know I am suffering from a recent blow to the Psyche!
Well on the mend here but ...............

Think I'll go out and try some in your face stuff
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Old Mar-22-2012, 01:13 PM
#34
RSL is offline RSL OP
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Oh come on, Ben. Telling where your camera was when you shot "Stop Requested" should be a balm to your injured psyche. But good luck with the in-your-face stuff. Watch for cops.
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Old Mar-22-2012, 01:26 PM
#35
RSL is offline RSL OP
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Originally Posted by bdcolen View Post
Just like any other advertising photo.
BD, I'm not sure what you're saying. I gather you're saying that if the picture wasn't shot on the sly, it's not really legitimate. Am I right?

So let's talk about why, when you're doing street photography, you don't walk up to a subject and ask if it's all right to shoot. I'd submit that it isn't because you want to be "genuine" by sneaking a shot. It's because you see a situation that you'll change if you don't capture it before the subjects know you're shooting. It's not because setting it up would be illegitimate. It's because if the subjects realize you're shooting they always start posing. There's no way around it. If people realize they're being photographed, they always pose -- maybe not consciously, but we all do it. I do it and you do it.

Doisneau's shot was set up, but the actors were good at what they did -- so good that they went to court much later on and tried to extract some more of what Doisneau made on the shot than he'd agreed to pay and paid.

What would be your reaction to the shot if you didn't know it was a setup? More to the point, what was your reaction before you knew that. Or did you always know that?
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Old Mar-22-2012, 01:26 PM
#36
lensmole is offline lensmole
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Originally Posted by bfjr View Post
That's unfair, Russ.
You know I am suffering from a recent blow to the Psyche!
Well on the mend here but ...............

Think I'll go out and try some in your face stuff
Don't forget to take off your lens cap.
Old Mar-22-2012, 01:35 PM
#37
RSL is offline RSL OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanS View Post
Russ. I am glad at the very least your posts are being looked at and discussed. I've got plenty of posts that received less than 3 responses, despite having been viewed hundreds of times. Any attention, even a negative reaction, seems better to me than silence. That is the ultimate insult..

I find understanding the story behind an image helps draw me in more. Music appreciation classes did the same for me regarding music. I find I enjoy a piece of music a great deal more if I learn about the technical aspects, musicians, their life, and how the song came in to existence. i find the same is true for most art. I think each person is different in this regard. To each his/her own.
Thanks, Ryan. I'm not too concerned about the number of responses I get to my posts. I've posted better stuff than this with a lot less response, and I'm afraid most of the response in this case has to do with the fact that I shot and told. And as far a negative reactions are concerned, I get a whole lot of those.

But I'm glad to see you agree with me about the telling. Most of the time it doesn't matter, but sometimes I think it can be interesting, even instructive.
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Old Mar-22-2012, 01:55 PM
#38
Earache is offline Earache
Unsharp and Oversaturated
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seastack View Post
Sometimes reading this forum is like watching this dog.
I agree...In addition:

Sometimes reading this forum is like and and and

But hey, what do I know? I'm just a "typical viewer" - not one of the forum Illuminati.

P.S. Don't get me wrong - I love it - it's like the Jerry Springer show without the flying chairs!
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Last edited by Earache; Mar-22-2012 at 02:08 PM.
Old Mar-22-2012, 02:00 PM
#39
Richard is offline Richard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcolen View Post
However, and this is where I think this is important, staging an image, with actors, where you control the circumstances, the pose, etc., is a far cry from seeing an affectionate couple on the street, waiting for the right moment, and getting a shot like the one we're discussing where you do not control anything except exposure and composition. One is an advertising shot without the copy over it; the other is candid photography at its best.
I agree that they are different, but I think where you and I part company is that you seem to attribute greater inherent value to the candid and I don't. An image is an image. It moves you or it doesn't. It can be staged and still convey truth and it can be candid and be utterly misleading. It can also be obviously untrue but still striking and memorable--a lot of good advertising photography falls into this category and I respect the skill of people who do it.
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Old Mar-22-2012, 02:13 PM
#40
RyanS is offline RyanS
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Originally Posted by RSL View Post
But I'm glad to see you agree with me about the telling. Most of the time it doesn't matter, but sometimes I think it can be interesting, even instructive.
Like BD's recent example of that dog with a dunkin' donuts bag on its head. By itself I would not have appreciated the image at all. After I read his story of what was going on, I found I enjoyed the image quite a lot. Is that the point everyone has been trying to make with that image? Same for the shots of the shoe on a post? Without the explanation, I don't get it. With the story it adds a new dimension I find interesting.

I'm sorry if I'm coming in to the conversation a bit late. Trying to get caught up.
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