Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1995/11/23

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To: Leica List <>
Subject: Re: too many words, not enough pictures
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 1995 21:52:04 PST

** Reply to note from Jack Hamilton <> 11/23/95  9:04pm       
> Sometimes the most "creative" photographer is the one with the "longest  
> memory!"...and often words are needed to get the creative juices flowing.  
> So...what are too many words??? Isn't it all "relative?" 

I'm with you, Jack. I remember in R. Smith Schuneman's book "Photographic   
Communication" (which is a record of the photojournalism conferences they used to hold   
at the University of Miami (?) that were run by Wilson Hicks, a major photo editor of   
Life Magazine in the 40s and 50s) that Ernst Haas (my favorite Leica Photographer)   
said we must be "Renaissance men." By that he said he meant we should study painting,   
scupture, literature and nature, etc. etc. Seems to me that means discussing our   
tools, and how they work for us.  
But the criticism has some merit. Do we EVER get out and really use the equipment to   
its potential? I don't always, but then my pictures mostly end up on the pages of my   
newspaper. But there are some pictures hanging on exhibit - all 11X14s - that are   
absolutely beautiful. There's someting about black and white prints that you can only   
get by looking at the prints up close and hard. As why should we miss out on that too?   
Photography is for sharing, and it's also recyclable. It runs in the paper, then it   
hangs on the museum wall, then it's in grandma's parlor, then it's in a history book   
200 years hence. What more could a photographer want? To make a person smile. Any   
camera can do that, but Leica photographers seem to want to do it with some standard   
of quality that most people don't feel is necessary. If we don't then it's wasted   
And you know what? Some of those pictures that on on exhibit right now were taken in   
extreme conditions. One during a blizzard at 9 p.m. in really horrible conditions.   
With a 35 Summilux R and T-Max P3200 at 1.4 and 1/30 of a second. It is gorgeous. The   
highlights and shadows are full of detail, and the modulation of tone is awesome. On   
is of a rodeo where the steer wrassler is jumping off his horse onto the steer. Every   
hair on the steer's nose stands out (280 f/2.8 Apo Telty). Those kinds of pictures   
really stand out for me and bring those memories back. And their beauty only enhances   
the memory.  
And another point, I used Leica for so many years becasue people often never heard of   
it. They think Nikon and Canon are the best, so they see my equipment and think it's   
not as good. Fine with me! They don't mess with me, they go annoy the guy with the   
Nikon. :-) 

Eric Welch 
Grants Pass, OR