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Thread: HCB Quotes

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post

    Take for instance Karsh's Churchill. An absolute masterpiece.
    What specifically makes it a masterpiece?

  2. #42
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Viewing the following images by Martine Franck, I can understand what she and HCB had in common.

    http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?V...rtine%20Franck

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    What specifically makes it a masterpiece?
    By my estimation several factors.

    The expressiveness of Churchill. The lighting. The printing. All the elements in the frame fit together.

    Right or wrong, it also fits with my understanding of history. One thing that makes a successful portrait for me is that it fits history as it is remembered.

    Karsh's portrait of O'Keffe, and others, are similarly a master works in my mind.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  4. #44
    Lee L's Avatar
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    One of the interesting things that impressed me in the recent Friedlander retrospective exhibit was how he knew exactly where to stand, i.e. how to select his point of view to arrange the elements in his photo. Many of the hundreds of photos in the exhibit would be complete 'misses' (no symmetry, no balance, no humor, no interesting juxtaposition) had his lens been placed any differently in space or aimed an inch off in any direction.

    HCB began and ended as a painter and drawer, and as such composition was always very important to him in photography.

    We can manipulate (or coordinate) the arrangement of objects in a photo by choosing both where to stand and where to aim to place objects within the frame in attractive relationships to each other, and this fits well with HCB's common method of finding his point of view, or perspective, then watching for another, often human element to come into perfect alignment within his chosen setting; kids on the stairs, a passing bicycle rider, someone crossing a puddle on a ladder, kids playing in a courtyard, Giacometti leaning forward exactly like his statue.

    Anyone who sees HCB as a lucky 'spray and pray' shooter or calls BS on the 'decisive moment' in HCB's work hasn't paid much attention.

    Lee

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L View Post
    One of the interesting things that impressed me in the recent Friedlander retrospective exhibit was how he knew exactly where to stand, i.e. how to select his point of view to arrange the elements in his photo. Many of the hundreds of photos in the exhibit would be complete 'misses' (no symmetry, no balance, no humor, no interesting juxtaposition) had his lens been placed any differently in space or aimed an inch off in any direction.

    HCB began and ended as a painter and drawer, and as such composition was always very important to him in photography.

    We can manipulate (or coordinate) the arrangement of objects in a photo by choosing both where to stand and where to aim to place objects within the frame in attractive relationships to each other, and this fits well with HCB's common method of finding his point of view, or perspective, then watching for another, often human element to come into perfect alignment within his chosen setting; kids on the stairs, a passing bicycle rider, someone crossing a puddle on a ladder, kids playing in a courtyard, Giacometti leaning forward exactly like his statue.

    Anyone who sees HCB as a lucky 'spray and pray' shooter or calls BS on the 'decisive moment' in HCB's work hasn't paid much attention.

    Lee
    Lee, interesting that you should mention Lee Friedlander, as I have always found his compositions interesting but in many cases a complete contrast to HCB’s classical compositions. Although I appreciate Lee Friedlander’s work, I would suggest HCB is a Beethoven and Lee Friedlander is Stockhausen.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    By my estimation several factors.

    The expressiveness of Churchill. The lighting. The printing. All the elements in the frame fit together.

    Right or wrong, it also fits with my understanding of history. One thing that makes a successful portrait for me is that it fits history as it is remembered.

    Karsh's portrait of O'Keffe, and others, are similarly a master works in my mind.
    I was going to retract the question but just saw your responded so I will leave it as-is.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I was going to retract the question but just saw your responded so I will leave it as-is.
    Why would you retract it. We are expressing opinions here and yours is as valid as anyone's.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I was going to retract the question but just saw your responded so I will leave it as-is.
    It is a fair question.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    It is a fair question.
    Just to be clear, and since it was my statement (masterpiece), my answer was pretty much stated by Mark.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  10. #50
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    Interesting discussion regarding framing and arraigning elements. I certainly agree that in where you choose to stand and how you place the camera at a specific point in space you are ordering the various elements within the picture, even though you are not moving them or controlling them physically. You are controlling where they fall in the picture space and although it is true that there are limits to how much you can order things your movement and action still has a great impact over the final result. Going beyond all that it's been my experience that no matter how discrete one tries to be your very presence on the scene, or in the street, alters what is happening, maybe because of the camera, maybe just because you are in the way, maybe just because. Quantum physics would seem to suggest we can't observe without also altering the event. I don't know about that but I do think the best street shooters make use of their own presence to get more of what they are after.

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