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Discussion in 'Photographers' started by MaximusM3, Jun 6, 2011.
Always fascinating, by Master Bresson
Try reading Geoff Dyer's "The Ongoing Moment."
Also consider the indecisive moment.
I'm currently working on the procrastinated moment.
My method - find your own.
I agree on the over-exposed bit. HCB was great inspiration when I was taking my first B&W photography classes in high school. The images that have always stuck with me are from when he defined himself as a surrealist photographer, but his later photojournalistic work always struck me as repetitive and much less personal. The High Museum's current exhibition on HCB is gigantic and absolutely exhausting to go through, but worth the time and expense if you're in Atlanta, GA one sweltering afternoon.
I do find his surrealistic work to be much more inspiring and he always thought of himself as that, not a photojournalist. As far as over-exposed, from a technical standpoint, I could care less. Being technically correct rarely, if ever, translates to artistic success. It's vision that matters.
Haha, I wasn't referring to Cartier-Bresson's print quality. I meant overexposed in the societal sense. His stuff is out there, everywhere, and many people who were doing extremely good work at the same time do not get as much credit or exposure. He was great at many things, and perhaps I should just be thankful that people are looking at photography in a museum setting, but...I may choke if I see certain pictures of his on a wall again!
For a moment, I thought that's what you meant but wasn't sure. I have always heard all sorts of complaints about HCB's images, from poor focus to exposures, etc. As far as a societal over-exposure, well, you can't blame the artist. It is those who elevate him to a higher ground that are to blame. Maybe he marketed himself well or because he was different but, at the end of the day, the work speaks for itself. If others have done as well as he did at the same time, I am sure that are various reasons for the public's indifference. It could be the body of work, consistency, raw talent, marketing, time, place, attitude, camera gear (Leica always did well by association), etc.
I think of Henri as the philosopher of photography. His foreword in The Decisive Moment is such a pure distillation of his approach to making images and each line reads like a proverb.
I was fortunate enough to get a copy of it through interlibrary loan, and would be glad to share it if anyone's interested.
A while back this excellent account by a man who assisted & traveled with Mssr. Cartier-Bresson was posted on APUG.
Artistic merit aside, HCB's work is subject to a great deal of celebrity worship, something not renowned for its critical edge. Don't find his post hoc analysis of his own work all that revealing. Didn't find much of value in Patel's fawning reminiscence.
I for one don't worship him for his celebrity. I find great value in what he has said and many of his photographs are indisputable masterpieces.
Didn't your mom ever tell you that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?
Gee, should make sure my "Play Nice" filter is working next time.
A whole lotta water and images have gone under the bridge since HC-B put his Leica down in the 70s. Great images but not holy relics.
I'm just sending some back your way
Not holy relics, but who here said they were? That's all...
"many of his photographs are indisputable masterpieces."
Hmm. I think you said it, right? Let's give the canonical stuff a rest.
*long and heavy sigh*
Anyways.... as much fun as I'm having discussing this with you....
I like it!
What a crack of BS! So you're saying that the only reason his work is established/appreciated is because of "celebrity worship" who have no business in being critics? Now my question is, aside from giving an opinion, what and who puts YOU in a position to offer a better, critical analysis of his work? Also, what images from other, less celebrated artists, do you consider to be Holy Relics?
Lots of people blather endlessly about HC-B's "greatness," not so many think through or discuss how the consensus came about. That's how celebrity worship, being famous for being famous, works like something that's thrown over many artists to avoid much if any critical thinking about their work. If you're OK with that, fine. I'm not.
HC-B earned his reputation through his work. His work as a photographer slowly got elevated to "clebrity" by the opinions of many people, not the thoughts of one poster in particular.
I'm not fine with that at all but I don't think you are correct in your assessment. If your thinking is indeed logic, then who are the artists who have gotten the proverbial short end of the stick, with their glorious, but largely ignored, body of work?
Yes, the assumption that I'm one of these "worshippers" is insulting. The truth is, I came to the conclusion that I like his work and found something in it that directly affected me by myself. Sure I was pointed to it by the fact that he's well known, but I didn't "latch on" to him simply because I'm a lemming or something. There's enough stuff that I dislike, against public applauding, to prove this fact.
But ultimately, I don't care to convince you.
OK, why don't you start by sharing what you believe makes HC-B's work great?
Now tell me what makes James Nachtwey's work great?
I asked the question first
Thanks for making my point.
Ok, here is your mistake...you are comparing. Being analytical/critical of someone's work is not about comparing it to others. Nachtwey's work is great in a much different way. If you want to be hit over the head with a sledgehammer with overpowering images of poverty, death, horrors, narrative photojournalism of some kind, then great, he's your man. I don't find his images universally appealing and that is likely the reason why he's not Bresson. You are seeing things from a purely subjective standpoint while claiming that Bresson's work stands simply by virtue of celebrity status, which is 100% wrong on all counts. Anyway..enough time wasted here..