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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughowk
    Josef Sudek did some very good "street photography" with LF & only one arm; but his images were take from a roof. The decisive moment can be when person/people enter your composed scene.

    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 01:26 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo

  2. #12

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    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.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge
    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.

    That's fine, too. Mike asked for examples from A Visual Journey. I gave some.

  4. #14
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    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.

    -Mike

  5. #15

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    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.

  6. #16
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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"

    -Bertrand Russell

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    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.
    .
    Hi:

    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?

    Thanks.

    -Mike

  8. #18
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    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.

    Lee

  9. #19
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    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.
    juan

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lopez
    I have recently become extremely interested in making "decisive moment" photographs in large format. One major catalyst for this came through studies of Michael A. Smith's photographs. Those of you who own "A Visual Journey" probably know of many examples in this book.

    As an uninitiated student of this concept, I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions on the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Garry Winogrand. I don't own books by either of them, but I do have access to several books by each in my library. It is my understanding that both used Leicas, typically on the street. I also know of Winogrand's huge volume of unprinted and undeveloped work upon his death. What sorts of philosophical differences between the two are to be noted? Do you have a preference, and why? I have read Cartier-Bresson's introduction to The Decisive Moment, and it seems counter to Winogrand's famous statement of photographing things "to see how they look." Does this summarize everything?

    I would like to hear your thoughts. Thank you.

    Mike

    Mike L.,

    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.

    Mike Davis

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