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Update for M8 users wanting G1 as backup

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You are right, parts of the film.

You seem to believe that viewfinders make great pictures.

I know some good filmmakers that can make a film without a camera.

And please... this "decisive moment" HCB nonsense. As many, if not more good pictures were taken at the "indecisive moment".

 

I would say 75% of my most recent book was shot not looking through the viewfinder (medium format film of breakdancers - Hasselblad SWC and Mamiya 6/7 - please see the CYPHER gallery on my website). But a good viewfinder is a help when shooting long days and I like the RF finder for composing because one can see outside the lines. And of course I don't believe a viewfinder makes a photograph. The photographer does.

 

Honestly, please, name one great photo taken at an indecisive moment. Have you ever read HCB's essay? Everything one does in making a photograph is a decision, from the choice of equipment to the making of the final print.

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... this "decisive moment" HCB nonsense. As many, if not more good pictures were taken at the "indecisive moment".

Hmm. Need to think about that.

 

How could I be sure that I had been able to capture the 'indecisive moment'?

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Howard - in some cases, it's kinda like shooting arrows at a wall and then painting targets around the places that you hit.

 

8^)

 

Untitled Document

 

I think "existential moment" is a better term, because the most powerful of the "indecisive moments" were "decisive" - just under the paradigm of Existentialism rather than classical Humanism. And even some (perhaps a lot, as his work matured) of HCB's moments are existential as well.

 

stami is an underrated quack - he just needs a good curator or critic to reveal and defend the true depth of his quackiness.

 

double 8^)

Edited by adan

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Guest stnami

Defenders of tradition , narrow minded twats,... boo hoo don't say anything bad about our hero mentality ...........it's just tradition that he get elevated there were a heap of photographers as good or better before, at the time and since

Edited by stnami

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Advertisement (gone after registration)

 

Honestly, please, name one great photo taken at an indecisive moment. Have you ever read HCB's essay? Everything one does in making a photograph is a decision, from the choice of equipment to the making of the final print.

 

Have you ever seen Bresson's contacts? What he was choosing from?

Have you ever seen what he actually missed?

 

Just google "indecisive+ moment+ photography" or something similar.

You'll find anti-Bressons galore.

 

I came across this essay.

 

MeMag - Me Magazine The indecisive moment

 

I don't know who the guy is or what he does. He expressed my thoughts on "(in)decisive moment" very well.

 

And a couple of pix by my fav Indecisive photog, Robert Frank.

 

"Quality doesn't mean deep blacks and whatever tonal range. That's not quality, that's a kind of quality. The pictures of Robert Frank might strike someone as being sloppy - the tone range isn't right and things like that - but they're far superior to the pictures of Ansel Adams with regard to quality, because the quality of Ansel Adams, if I may say so, is essentially the quality of a postcard. But the quality of Robert Frank is a quality that has something to do with what he's doing, what his mind is. It's not balancing out the sky to the sand and so forth. It's got to do with intention." (Elliott Erwitt)

Edited by nugat

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I'm sorry, but Robert Frank is about the poorest example I could think of for defending some sort of indecisive moment argument. His photographs are all about the moment - well composed with almost always a built in story. He may have heralded in a looser style of photography, but it had nothing to do with not making decisions, not being tight. Grittiness has nothing to do with not making a decision when photographing. In fact. Frank's grittiness comes in large part from his use of motion picture film (he was too poor to buy Tri-X in rolls). A decision, albeit one made by financial circumstances. He also never printed over 11X14.

 

Even the editing after the fact ties into what is a decisive moment or not.

 

Yes, kill yr idols, but please understand them first....

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I'm sorry, but Robert Frank is about the poorest example I could think of for defending some sort of indecisive moment argument. His photographs are all about the moment - well composed with almost always a built in story. He may have heralded in a looser style of photography, but it had nothing to do with not making decisions, not being tight. Grittiness has nothing to do with not making a decision when photographing. In fact. Frank's grittiness comes in large part from his use of motion picture film (he was too poor to buy Tri-X in rolls). A decision, albeit one made by financial circumstances. He also never printed over 11X14.

 

Even the editing after the fact ties into what is a decisive moment or not.

 

Yes, kill yr idols, but please understand them first....

 

Whatever. Everybody can have his art theory. I just don't take easily to pompous failed painter Frenchmen who a talent given elsewhere by God must necessarily misrepresent with some flatulent philosophy. A good picture is a good picture, never mind how you arrive at it. But to make theories and give recepies for a masterpiece, to lecture on the nature of time , composition, light...is megalomaniac. Which I don't like.

In contrast see how modest and self-deprecating with distance and humour is Robert Frank, in this rare interview.

 

The big empty | Art and design | The Observer

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Great article on Frank. Thanks for that!

 

I'm still not sure how indecision works toward making great art though. Decisions are what makes us differ from lower life forms. Of course there's the old adage that if one sits a monkey down at a typewriter and he starts pecking at it, sooner or later he's going to type "to be or not to be..." But I doubt any of the great photographers in history used that much blind chance in numbers. If you look at many photographers proofsheets you see good,bad, and in between, all in one shoot. not sure what this proves except they made decsions, some that didn't work out others that didn't.

 

I definitely don't kneel to the cult of HCB - quite often his output is mediocre, though he took more pictures in more places than most of us combined. Keep in mind that at the time he started, he helped change the way people look at the world via photography. Now a lot of his photos (and ideas) may seem outdated, but at the time they were quite revolutionary.

 

Not sure how we got here.

 

Best,

 

Charles

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Defenders of tradition , narrow minded twats,... boo hoo don't say anything bad about our hero mentality ...........it's just tradition that he get elevated there were a heap of photographers as good or better before, at the time and since

 

stnami, by your reply, we understand you have a misconception that everyone else (besides you) worship HCB; actually it's more about respect than hero mentality.

 

yes, there were other good or better photographers, and i believe most of them showed respect for one another.

 

unlike you.

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Great article on Frank. Thanks for that!

 

I'm still not sure how indecision works toward making great art though. Decisions are what makes us differ from lower life forms. Of course there's the old adage that if one sits a monkey down at a typewriter and he starts pecking at it, sooner or later he's going to type "to be or not to be..." But I doubt any of the great photographers in history used that much blind chance in numbers. If you look at many photographers proofsheets you see good,bad, and in between, all in one shoot. not sure what this proves except they made decsions, some that didn't work out others that didn't.

 

I definitely don't kneel to the cult of HCB - quite often his output is mediocre, though he took more pictures in more places than most of us combined. Keep in mind that at the time he started, he helped change the way people look at the world via photography. Now a lot of his photos (and ideas) may seem outdated, but at the time they were quite revolutionary.

 

Not sure how we got here.

 

Best,

 

Charles

 

Well, there is Winogrand for pulling the good ones out of a mass of images..

But on indecisive moment. Surely pressing the shutter is a decision, taken at a moment, so the term is a contradiction in itself.

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But on indecisive moment. Surely pressing the shutter is a decision, taken at a moment, so the term is a contradiction in itself.

 

When the God of Leica Photography defined the DECISIVE MOMENT as:

 

"...the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as a precise organisation of forms, which give that event its proper expression”.

 

then by logical negation ungodly INDECISIVE MOMENT is

 

" the recognition when to divorce form of picture from it's content to achieve metaexpression ".

 

Do not confuse with MOMENT OF DECISION / INDECISION.

 

It is all pseudo-philospophical flatulence as my favorite accidental essay well desribed (to me at least).

 

MeMag - Me Magazine The indecisive moment

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Hmmm... I'm not very good at (pseudo?) philosophy. I will just press the shutter when I see fit and hope I did it right.

But then, I am certainly not a Grand Master of photography, just an aspiring amateur:(

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*pokes head in*

 

Sorry, was this the conversation about the G1 as a backup?

 

Come come, surely you know this place well enough by now...

 

;-)

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I tried a range of M lenses on my G1 and found what everybody else has, I guess -- soft edges with the shorter lenses, and since the Panasonic has a 2x crop factor, it has no really usable normal lens. I believe Sean Reid is correct in his theory about the interaction of the lens with the sensor. I'm using the adapter from Stephen Gandy, and it works fine. I've found the two Panasonic zooms to be quite good (not M8, but better than G9, which I also had) and the G1 has become my car camera, and my travel camera on non-photography trips.

 

As far as being a backup to the M8 is concerned, I never saw it that way -- I just saw it as a handy, fairly cheap camera that might use M8 lenses, which I already had. But the experience is nothing like using the M8. Actually shooting the camera with an M lens is a fiddly process, not to my liking. Sean says on his site (I think it was Sean) that you can get into a kind of rhythm in shooting with it, but I couldn't; I had to think about it every time. Nothing went quickly. I probably didn't shoot enough to find the rhythm. I had no problem with ergonomics -- it's really a damn good camera. You do have to upgrade the firmware to use it properly with M lenses (otherwise the magnification factor, which you use as an aid in focusing, turns off too quickly.)

 

The big hope is that when Olympus comes out with its m4/3, that it will provide some serious high-end old Olympus style glass, which IMHO was right up there with Leica for quality. THAT will be an interesting camera, if they pull it off, especially if the glass is reasonably fast. Then again, a lot of Leica shooters still wouldn't like the electronic viewfinder.

 

One thing: I travel between two houses, and the Leica equipment is in the other one, where I just spent a week. I didn't have time to do serious trials, and wound up shooting a bunch of plants with the nocti. I suspect the nocti on the G1 would make *great* dark, moody portraits in B&W, or with low-value color schemes. Of course, so will the 75 Lux on the M8. But, if somebody specializes in dark moody portraits, a fast 50mm mounted on this camera might be the way to go.

 

At for stnami and his theories on HCB, I always find it best to take his theories with a grain of methamphetamine.

 

JC

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Guest stnami

'

At for stnami and his theories on HCB, I always find it best to take his theories with a grain of methamphetamine.
well it wasn't a theory for starters but this statement as quoted coming from someone who signs of as JC, you gotta wonder about poster's aspirations and if he ain't a couple of sheep short of a station Edited by stnami

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Guest malland
...I definitely don't kneel to the cult of HCB - quite often his output is mediocre, though he took more pictures in more places than most of us combined. Keep in mind that at the time he started, he helped change the way people look at the world via photography. Now a lot of his photos (and ideas) may seem outdated, but at the time they were quite revolutionary...
Anyone who thinks that HCB was not a great photographer should have a look at his first book, The Decisive Moment, which can be found for downloading on the web: in terms the quality of all the pictures it looks like the best photography book ever published and contains the bulk of HCB's best photographs. If you've never seen it you should really download it and look at it. It is amazing how anyone could make so many great photographs in one book, which is not a retrospective. It is not surprising that he could not maintain this level of concentrated quality throughout his life, although he made many good photographs after that.

 

—Mitch/Potomac, MD

Portraits - a set on Flickr

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