Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/06/26

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Don't be shy (was wedding newbie)
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 1998 18:07:07 -0500

At 10:07 PM 6/26/98 +0200, you wrote:

>Deep down Eric, I think you agree with me.  Anybody can take unobrusive
>candids.  But GREAT photographs are made not found.  Anticipation with
>a helpful nudge from the photographer 

Absolutely not. The exact opposite is true. Constructed photos are phony,
they look phony, and they are, at their hearts, phony.

I can't make it any plainer. It is more difficult to make great candids in
the sense of it being difficult and time-consuming to find great pictures. 

Non-candids certainly might be harder to do in terms of time to waste
constructing the scene, lighting it, and having an art director breathing
down your neck watering down your vision more than it already is by
producing phony pictures. :-)

Really, phony pictures are the ones that people create hoping they'll pass
as real, because they're too lazy or untalented to capture them for real.
It's a lie. Pictures that are created for advertising and commercial work
are a different animal altogether. Nothing wrong with them, but "nudging" a
picture to make it better is absolutely unacceptable when it's
photojournalism. Candid is candid or it's not. Posed that looks posed are
perfectly legitimate. It's when the two get confused.

>You are a typical photojournalist.  An artist looking for a way to break
>the mold without breaking your ethics.

That's a tough one. I'm reading Miller's book on Magnum - enlightening on
this subject.
- -- 

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

As far as I'm concerned, treachery will sometimes bring loyalty into question.