HCB in Colour

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by miha, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. miha

    miha Member

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  2. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    No, I think this was more experimentation than anything on his part. If you convert all of them to black & white they probably work better. I would guess he was also probably colour blind to some extent.
     
  3. miha

    miha Member

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    I often hear colour is more difficult. Maybe it's true.
     
  4. batwister

    batwister Member

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    That's a wild assumption!

    I don't think they would 'probably' work well in black and white either. This is one of the biggest collective brain farts of creative judgement in 21st century photography. We're living in the convert to greyscale generation (somewhat aptly abbreviated, CGG).

    And cliveh, you only ever shoot in black and white! Surely you know the difference between tonality and colour by now?

    Please somebody buy cliveh a book of colour photography for Christmas... and I don't mean 'WW1 in Colour', but 'colour photography'; the kind where colour is used as a visual statement of creative intent.

    This said, his colour pictures linked are just illustrations for a crappy magazine, I don't think he was trying to set the photographic art world's pants on fire.
     
  5. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I don't think either is more difficult than the other, but they are very different. For what HCB did, black and white suited his vision. The same was true for very different reasons of Ansel Adams who did dabble in color but whose color work was, IMHO, pretty unremarkable.

    Kerry Thalmann is one photographer who comes to mind whose work I like but just wouldn't work well, most of it, in black and white:

    http://www.thalmann.com/
     
  6. MDR

    MDR Member

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    I am not much of a HCB fan but I don't think that his color work is bad. It illustrated the article quiet well (china) and his work has a theme the red in china (good work imo). The Fishermen photograph (Holiday) is actually quiet good. I think when people look at his color work they try to compare it to his B/W which they shouldn't. B/W and color have a different emphasis. I for one liked his color work. Some of AA color work is not bad either we are just so accostumed to their B/W work that we can't fairly judge (prejudice) their color work.
     
  7. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I don't think AA's color is bad but it doesn't have the impact his black and white does, at least for me.
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I agree that the pictures were meant to illustrate an article in a magazine, and were made with that in mind. Plus, remember that HCB's body of work was made over many years- he didn't go out and create one iconic image after another.
     
  9. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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  10. MDR

    MDR Member

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    I believe the color pictures loose their impact because we constantly have pictures like moonrise over Hernandez in our mind when we look at AA photos. The same with HCB color work we constantly compare it to some great B/W image. Seriously a lot HCB famous work is less than great the guy jumping over a puddle is nothing special and even people with LF cameras were able to make such a photo and actually did. AA and HCB B/W are hyped to a degree that I quiet honestly don't get. If people wouldn't have known that the work was made by HCB or AA they would have said good work instead of it doesn't compare to their B/W work. It doesn't it's different with a different goal in mind.

    Darko I always enjoy a good comic strip and calvin and hobbes are usually great. Thanks
     
  11. AndreasT

    AndreasT Member

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    I find that rather harsh what you say about the guy jumping over the puddle.
     
  12. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

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    I think it's harder to make a color street shot than a street shot in B&W. The content can be more powerful in B&W. Color distracts the senses with aesthetics.
     
  13. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    Color street photography, when done right, is extremely powerful.
    One way to know when color works is to convert to B&W and see the image become mundane/garbage.
     
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  15. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Color is best when color is an integral part of the composition. If it isn't, it tends to detract.
     
  16. miha

    miha Member

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    Colour is easier on the viewer.
     
  17. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Often it seems that AA would make an image in B&W and then expose a sheet or two of color as an after-though (since he was given the film to experiment with). So many of the images in "Ansel Adams in Color" do seem if color was a side issue.

    EW also did some color -- I have seen reproductions of images of shells that he did -- my first impression is that EW thought about color as a compositional element of the image a little more than AA did.
     
  18. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    The second link has an article in which it refers to "his colour negatives" I'd have thought that for his work as far back as 1958 it would have been colour transparencies especially of ot was done for a magazine but maybe not.

    Anyone know for sure?

    Thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I don't care for H.C.B's colour work, it's just not his medium, he can't "see" in colour, it makes the work of this legendary monochrome photographer look as if if it was shot by Disney.
     
  20. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Andreas my comment might sound harsh but compare his man jumping over a puddle to Lartigue's work, Lartigue was younger used a big camera and captured jumping persons in interesting ways.

    Furthermore I don't think that HCB's image bad just overhyped. The image is also one of my pet peeves as it is constantly used to show the advantages of 35mm over other formats, Lartigue's and other LF users work at that time prove that this is simply wrong you can capture movement in any format.
     
  21. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Just looks like what it is, run-of-the-mill commercial color shots for the era that he probably hated himself for taking in the first place, but
    probably just couldn't turn down the money. Not his medium.
     
  22. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    You are missing the point here. The puddle jumper is not just about a jumping man to be compared to other jump pictures, by who or whatever. The puddle jumper shows various echoes of form and time within the frame. It is sometimes referred to as the defining image of the 20th century – the jump into the unknown.
     
  23. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    What's with you people? I think his color photos are very, very fine. Much better then 99% of the stuff I see on flickr.
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Using Flickr as a yardstick as a measure of photo- technical quality is like measuring fine art using painting by numbers
     
  25. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    The yardstick measure here is HCB himself and i do see the HCB spirit in them. The one with the boat, for example, is Grand!
     
  26. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Colour wasn't H.C.B' s medium I.M.O., his extraordinary monochrome work was very ordinary in colour.