Originally Posted by doughowk
I think that's part of it, Doug. People entering the frame of the photograph often make the image what it is, and they need not be perfectly sharp in the finished print. I like implied motion, much of the time.
Last edited by Mike Lopez; 10-01-2005 at 12:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Mike, I really have no desire to make this thread an analysis of Smith's work. He and I have discussed this till the cows come home, and suffice it to say in general Michael and I have very different ideas of what constitutes a good photograph.
If your goal is to make photographs similar to what he does, then study his work and try to come up with similar situations. I wish you the best of luck.
Originally Posted by Jorge
That's fine, too. Mike asked for examples from A Visual Journey. I gave some.
Hi gang. I just got in from a 13 hour all night drive from Carson City. I am too tired to locate my copy of the book and look thru the examples. I will do so as soon as I can and post some replies. Thanks for the examples, Mike.
Cartier-Bresson often put a lot of thought into shots, and seeing a potential scene, was willing to endure an extended wait to have it set up right. He made some effort to be inconspicuous.
The find-it-then-wait-for-it methodology certainly seems LF-friendly.
Winogrand was a lot more spontaneous, and he mostly didn't care whether you saw or liked him. His method involved shooting an immense amount of film and hoping for a few keepers.
Unless you're shooting an aerial 5" roll back I think Winogrand's methods are inapplicable to LF, although you'll need his chutzpah since you're not going to be very stealthy with LF.
Personal preference? I like the best of Winogrand a lot better than I like the best of Cartier-Bresson, but there are also wide swaths of Winogrand--"Public Relations" for instance--that do absolutely nothing for me, a level to which none of Cartier-Bresson's work sinks.
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Winogrand was one of the better photographers of the late 20th century.
HCB created the world Winogrand inhabited.
HCB roamed the earth for decades, not a street, not a neighborhood. He explored cultures, times, and places. He made pictures that were, and are, meaningful to people from all over our planet. Winogrand made pictures which are interesting to a few people.
It is seldom a good idea to compare people, let alone artists. In this case, it shows why. Winogrand was a product of his times, HCB shaped those times.
Many of us today imagine that what a photographer does is to wander around on their day off with a bag of film and a couple cameras over a shoulder and wonder if this will be the day they see something interesting.
In this context, it is understandable that HCB is not fully appreciated. His existence was about seeing life clearly enough to record it clearly, in 1/60th of a second snaps. Those who suggest he just hung around waiting for something to happen need to read accounts from the '50s of people trying to keep up with him.
The proper comparison is Picasso or HCB. And the answer is they can't be separated enough to be compared. They simply ARE the times in which they lived.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
Originally Posted by df cardwell
How dow you think Michal Smith's landscapes fit into the world HCB created? Do you think the term 'Decisive Moment' applies to his LF landscape work?
The October 2005 Black & White Photography (british) magazine has an interveiw with HCB from the mid-70's. A nice read, and he talks about his shooting style and general attitude toward photography and its place in art and culture among other things. He requested that parts of this interview be excluded at its first publication, but this version is not edited for content. I found his comments on bourgeois socialism and 'concerned photography' to be interesting, and in my opinion, apt. This issue of B&W had a very high percentage of articles that interested me.
I was stunned when I learned to see well enough to recognize that a lot of Edward Weston's photographs were taken at the decisive moment, too.
Originally Posted by Mike Lopez
I think that you are on the right track. The key is waiting for "your shot," your "decisive moment." This could be setting up a rooftop shot (which you are very good at, by the way) and waiting for the right moment showing the interactions of pedestrians and traffic. It could be something at the beach or a horse race, or anything else. The street photography of the 40's and the work of Nicholas Nixon in 8x10 definitely show that the "decisive moment" is not just a concept for 35mm or MF.
It was good to meet you at the workshop. I'm still thinking about the experience daily.