Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/09/15

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Subject: [Leica] Untitled Magazine #7, Robert Frank, W. Eugene Smith
From: Eric Welch <>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 18:34:35 -0500

At 09:03 AM 9/15/98 -0400, you wrote:

>I think this collection is a perfect example of the photographer seeing
>something, and wanting to make a statement, but not having sufficient
>photographic vision or technique to convey what he saw and wanted to say to
>the viewer.

I see work that is trying to emulate other street photographers. Tilted
horizons for the sake of tilt. Chopped off heads, because that's what
Eugene Richards did in Africa. (Of course, these are only guesses). 

The picture I like is the youth standing above the older person, resting
his hand on the man's head. And the other one "The real gang is the gang in
blue" with the young man in the foreground with the sherlock hat and the
police goofing off in the background is pretty interesting. Technically
pretty good too. I guess I see a bit more vision there, but it's not great
work. Too much style, not enough substance.

I just found a copy of "The Americans" by Robert Frank. At first, I didn't
like it much. But as my own vision has grown, I went through this book and
it blew me away with the power of his pictures. Too bad he gave up real
photography for artistic trash.

And speaking of great photography, I found a copy of W. Eugene Smith's
Minimata. And for the astounding low price of $9.80 including shipping!
From It's still being published! One of the great photo essays
of all time.

Now if one wants to see some real photography, check those two books. In
that context, Untitled #7 is a dismal distant competitor.
- -- 

Eric Welch
St. Joseph, MO

I get enough exercise just pushing my luck.