Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/08/10

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Subject: Re: [Leica] on photographic seeing
From: Dominique PELLISSIER <>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 23:14:25 +0200

A 21:52 09/08/98 -0700, vous avez =E9crit :

>Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 19:36:23 -0600
>Subject: Re: [Leica] On Photographic Seeing
>It happens with embarrassing frequency. I blow a shot and then think I'l=
>just go back and do it again. I return, place the tripod in exactly the =
>indentations in the dirt, look through the viewfinder, and the scene has
>changed. The time of day is different, a cloud has cast a shadow, it's
>foggy, there's a pigeon nesting on that road sign, the power company saw=
ed a
>limb off, or some kid has left skate board tracks down the cathedral ste=
>No scene is ever the same and the subtle differences over time may marke=
>alter an image, often in pleasing ways. Andre Kertesz lived in an apartm=
>overlooking a park for at least 20 years. Each picture of that park is
>unique and stands apart even though all are from the same vantage point.
>Perhaps some of you saw an article recently (? Shutterbug) about a fello=
>who photographs one tree and has done so for years. Though you know it's=
>same tree, a series of photos of that tree show remarkable differences, =
>if there were layers of beauty each revealed by changing circumstances. =
>lesson for me in all of this is knowing that they are always there, I tr=
y to
>see the changes.
>Greg Achenbach
>- -----Original Message-----
>From: Joseph Codispoti <>
>>When I travel I find all I see to be exotic while in my home surroundin=
gs I
>>tend to became blase at seeing the same haunts day after day.



Exotism may be a danger for the photographer. Try to shoot (photograph) t=
same haunts by including people.For instance, I live near a Renaissance
castle with a Middle Age tower. I don't photograph it any longer. I am
blase. But when the count, an old man, drives his  mini-tractor in front =
his castle, the contrast is very funny in my opinion. If, at the same tim=
a chicken seems to look at the scene, I have a good picture.
Greg, you made the same comment ("i try to see the changes"). In other
words, there is a static decoration and you, the photographer, try to
record the epsilon event which causes a dynamic situation.In the VF of th=
Leica M and with a 35, you can prepare "l'instant decisif" (HCB) cutting
off the 3D-space in successive planes : one for the chicken in the neares=
foreground, one for the mini-tractor with the count, and the last for the
decoration (the castle).
Why is exotism a danger ? Too easy and no dynamics. Take, for instance th=
picture on the backcover of the LHSA quaterly journal (VF n=B0 2/1998). T=
title is : Charleston sweetgrass basket ladies. The picture, made with a
24M, is excellent indeed ! We see on the background two afro-american
ladies (am i correct ?) weaving sweetgrassbaskets. In the foreground we s=
a parterre of baskets overwhelming the ladies .Exotic picture but there i=
no dynamics.In the text we are told that the women are camera hating.In m=
opinion, the next picture to take is when the ladies escape from the
photographs with all their baskets or when someone (imagine, say, an
afro-american boy)buys a basket. Easy to say, difficult to apply.