Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/08/08

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: [Leica] On Photographic Seeing
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 10:33:54 -0500

At 08:09 AM 8/8/98 -0600, you wrote:

>an emotional plane.  Classic images come to mind which illustrate the
>"feeling" photographer at work, like Eugene Smith's photo of a Japanese
>mother holding her dying son who has fallen to minimata disease from
>mercury poisoning.  It is the "feeling" photo that touches us most deeply.  

It was a daughter, but you are right on. Feeling photographers make the
most intriguing photos.

But I actually don't think you can make discreet distinctions between
seeing, thinking and feeling photographers. I think the greatest pictures
are by the photographers who integrate all the three ways of doing the
photo. Gene Smith's photo is not a moment that just happened and he snapped
a picture. He was looking for just that kind of picture to make (thinking),
and he created such an amazing composition (seeing) that the power of what
he was responding to in the overall Minimata essay (feeling) came through.

Very few photographers integrate all the ways of making photos in a
well-balanced mix. I don't think Gene Smith did always, but the amazing
thing is that he did at all working in the booze and drug-induced stupor
that he was often in. It speaks to the power of his vision that he
succeeded as he did in spite of himself.
- -- 

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.