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Thread: Garry Winogrand

  1. #31

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    The fact that he shot so many rolls of film is really secondary to the fact that he created some iconic photographs during his relatively short lifetime.

  2. #32
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Another question might be whether we can say that he shot a lot of film--measured, say, in miles per hour--relative to, say, a fashion photographer working in 35mm, a sports photographer or a wildlife photographer, or did he just spend more hours out working with the camera than most street photographers? Fashion less so, but sports, wildlife, and street are all areas where there are many random factors (mainly subject movement, shifting light, and moving obstructions) that can get in the say of getting a good photograph, so people do tend to shoot a lot of film.

    In fashion, I think the motive to shoot a lot is in part personal style and in part the pressure to be productive and shoot a lot of products in a limited amount of time. Imagine you're shooting a catalogue that has a beach theme, and you're dealing with outdoor lighting, models and assistants being paid to be on set, and there are hotel and travel costs, and you're trying to use morning and late afternoon light--100 rolls of film a day seems like a modest expense and good insurance.

    In a half-day of good bird photography, I usually shoot about 6-8 rolls of 36, and I'm pretty conservative. I'd say most serious bird photographers shoot at least twice that in the same amount of time, and probably more than twice now that most of them aren't using film.

    Rather than thinking of Winogrand using the "spray and pray" method, I think he was just out there working hard. Maybe it was obsessive to work that hard, and there may have been irrational psychological motivations, but that's not so unusual for people who are very dedicated to what they do.
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  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Rather than thinking of Winogrand using the "spray and pray" method, I think he was just out there working hard. Maybe it was obsessive to work that hard, and there may have been irrational psychological motivations, but that's not so unusual for people who are very dedicated to what they do.

    David,

    I think you got it, success does not come without hard work. Photography done well is hard! And what's wrong with a little obsession? It works for me....

    Richard Wasserman

  4. #34
    loman's Avatar
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    What we can conclude is simply that his way of working worked very well in achieving what he set out to do. And of course he was obsessed about his work, all great artists are.
    My point was simply, that at the end of his life, he got depressed, he didn't feel the same anymore, he felt that he had lost the spark (all this according to Szarkowski, I never knew the person, so frankly I have no idea if any of it is true!), he got sick with cancer etc. etc.
    I think he got so apathic about the whole thing that he switched to autopilot, and stopped caring too much about what he took pictures of (this at least is evidenced by the fact, that he seems to have cared very little, in the end, to see proofs of his final work. I think szarkowski says that besides the 3000 rolls of undevelopped film, there was another 3000 who had been developped, but hadn't been proofed)

  5. #35

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    A couple of comments. If I had terminal cancer and shooting rather than developing and proofing was my "thing" then in the time I had left I think I'd want to do "my thing" as well. I watched father dying from cancer. He knew he was dying and I knew it but what he wanted to do before he lost his strength completely was buy and drive a new car, although his old car wasn't very old. It didn't make any sense to others but it made perfect sense to him. There are no car showrooms in heaven nor critiques of photography.

    Even if I didn't have cancer then if I go out each day and shoot several rolls as opposed to several shots , I realy won't know what will be keepers until I look at them all again and doing this can wait until I either tire of taking shots which he may have thought would happen to him or until I get "too old" for the hustle and bustle of street photography but have many years or at least enough left to develop and proof as he may have thought before he know about his cancer.

    I can easily appreciate " a method and sense in his madness" as they say


    Finally what I like tomorrow after developing each film I take today and what I will like or think worthy in several months/years later might be two different things. He may have believed that his judgement on keepers got better the longer he waited before developing and proofing.

    pentaxuser

  6. #36
    bjorke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickjames View Post
    ...he left thousands of rolls undeveloped and that he wore sprocket holes into the pressure plate of a Leica, but for what purpose?
    Has there been a biography yet?

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

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