Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
I have never seen an actual photograph made by H.C-B but I've seen museum and gallery examples of gelatin-silvers credited to him. The idea of sublime composition, exposure, and timing as outcomes of H.C-B's camera-work is basically a crock. H.C-B never really knew what he had until somebody pushed a pile of contact sheets under his nose. It is no hugely clever thing to discover a few nice results among thousands and thousands (and thousands) of discards.

The real secret to H.C-B's output is obsessive and brutal shooting backed up by dedicated darkroom workers. I think H.C-B's fame rests on an almost psychopathic capacity for self promotion, and ability to fool naive commentators like Beaumont Newhall et al, and to seduce an uncritical fan-club who fail to realise virtually everything he said about himself and his work should be taken with a grain of salt.

Of the pictures credited to H.C-B I should have liked to have done "Bargeman on the Seine River, 1957". And I wish (sadly unfulfilled) that I had the talent to do it by conscious creativity rather than by chance and in passing.
What I like about HCB's work is that he transports me to another place.

I realize that some people are critical of collaboration between photographer and printer and have a problem with the "purity".

As for cropping and creating great composition by the printer at a later time, I think that with street photography there is the need for cropping in the darkroom because you need the spontaneity of the shots and changing lenses all the time would not work.