Favourite HCB photograph

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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  2. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Mine's "Moonrise over Hernandez".
     
  3. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Just kidding. :smile:

    Probably "Rue Mouffetard, Paris, 1954". At least my most enjoyable of his to look at. The look on the kid's face and the giggling girls in the background is priceless.
     
  4. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    In the Family of Man exhibition is a shot captioned "Indonesia." The shot I like is the one of rice paddy workers where he catches a woman in the foreground, several workers... one holding a baby and some of them children in the background. Sculpted terraces reflecting the tops of palm trees. Some huts and another rice paddy arranged in straight lines in the distance crossing the vertical lines of the same palm trees you see reflected in the foreground paddies.
     
  5. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Well played, sir.
     
  6. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I have never seen an actual photograph made by H.C-B but I've seen museum and gallery examples of gelatin-silvers credited to him. The idea of sublime composition, exposure, and timing as outcomes of H.C-B's camera-work is basically a crock. H.C-B never really knew what he had until somebody pushed a pile of contact sheets under his nose. It is no hugely clever thing to discover a few nice results among thousands and thousands (and thousands) of discards.

    The real secret to H.C-B's output is obsessive and brutal shooting backed up by dedicated darkroom workers. I think H.C-B's fame rests on an almost psychopathic capacity for self promotion, and ability to fool naive commentators like Beaumont Newhall et al, and to seduce an uncritical fan-club who fail to realise virtually everything he said about himself and his work should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Of the pictures credited to H.C-B I should have liked to have done "Bargeman on the Seine River, 1957". And I wish (sadly unfulfilled) that I had the talent to do it by conscious creativity rather than by chance and in passing.
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Oooooo that one is good too Maris.

    I do agree that more volume increases the likelihood of good results in candid work. To do this in candid work takes a lot of time and patience and doing one's darndest to be where the action is.
     
  8. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    Wait. You mean, it wasn't the Leica?

    s-a
     
  9. Jim17x

    Jim17x Member

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    Who is H.C.B... Is that the new guy from California?
     
  10. Jim17x

    Jim17x Member

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  11. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    What I like about HCB's work is that he transports me to another place.

    I realize that some people are critical of collaboration between photographer and printer and have a problem with the "purity".

    As for cropping and creating great composition by the printer at a later time, I think that with street photography there is the need for cropping in the darkroom because you need the spontaneity of the shots and changing lenses all the time would not work.
     
  12. lecarp

    lecarp Member

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    I think they sell frozen yogurt.
     
  13. michael_r

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    I have noticed generally when people try to convince me of HCB's awesomeness, they tend to default to the elements of composition in the glossary at the back of the Composition 101 book. And when that happens I feel validated in my disinterest in these so-called decisive moments. "This picture is great because the leading lines and the center of interest and the s-curves lead the viewer's eye into the frame". Hooray.

    I'm sorry if this is harsh, but seriously Cliveh, we all get it. You love HCB. HCB is the best. Print quality is unimportant. A guy jumping over a puddle is great. Moonrise is not. Etc. What I would ask is that you at least dispense with the s-curves and tell us why you really love these pictures.
     
  14. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Or bell curves.
     
  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    For me HCB provides an iconic social window we can look into that shows the beauty of every day life, the little stories we see every from the corners of our eyes but can't quite get for ourselves when we go back with a camera.

    I can empathize with the guy trying keep dry by walking a plank and then jumping the puddle. I wonder where he's off to and what got him into that situation, what's so important that he has to take or was forced to take that route. I can see myself there.

    I can imagine myself in Paris, standing there looking down those crooked stairs as the bicycle speeds by.

    Martine's legs are like foreplay and can give me a shiver.
     
  16. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    I see a moment of comedy - a big fat buy who hasn't a prayer of being able to jump far enough to keep his feet dry. And might slip and fall on his but in the puddle.

    HCB definitely produced many wonderful photographs. The fear and panic of the Chinese lined up outside the bank gives me shivers. What is wrong with knowing that you aren't the greatest printer in the world?

    BUT There are an almost infinite number of decisive moments every day. Taking credit for finding "the" decisive moment is mainly a matter of self-promotion. Part of his genius was his ability to see possibilities, put himself into position to capture "a" decisive moment, click like crazy, and claim after the fact that he had found "the" decisive moment. He also thrust himself into important events where the decisive moments would have power. Heck, even St Ansel bought it and praised him.
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Rome, Italy, 1959 - with the priests and the lady. This one spellbinds me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2012
  18. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    They are windows on life and human characteristics in all their multifarious forms. The ability to compose and arrest moving forms and shapes within a frame for me is an ultimate challenge to which I wish to aspire and one I admire in the work of HCB. I don't need to think about his compositional shapes, I just get it.
     
  19. ooze

    ooze Member

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  20. Matthew Wagg

    Matthew Wagg Member

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    I have three favorites of the work I have seen.
    1. The one in Spain with the boys and the wall of windows
    2. Spain, Andalucia with the boys playing in rubble. Beautiful punctum of the boy's expression on the crutches.
    3. MEXICO. Mexico City. 1934 the homosexual lovers.