Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/12/03[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
Carl Socolow wrote: >I'm curious, because it's seldom discussed on the LUG, about different >individuals' working styles. You obviously direct your work towards the >humanistic and the socially relevant and so you must primarily >photograph people, I assume. When you do this do you work candidly, with >their approval, interactively? What sort of physical space do you >maintain? What lighting approaches? How intrusive or unobtrusive are >you? I'll also make an assumption that your ongoing use of Leicas works >with your technique and approach even though I know that you have used >other machines and you are not a dogmatic leicaphile. These questions, >by the way, are equally open to response by other LUG members relative >to their own working styles. I primarily photograph people, portraits, or in situation. I rarely work candidly. Only when I have no choice in situations of obvious oppression, or aggression (like in the Paris demonstration I mentioned). In third world countries such situations are difficult to cover openly, so you really have to be inventive, and take some risks. For the rest I prefer the interaction. It takes time and patience to obtain a status as a friendly foreigner, it is not enough to declare one's solidarity. I always keep a low profile. Humility is a natural part in any such interaction, and respect, of course. I am not a shooter. I am discreet, I have a modest equipment, and make few images. Some places I do nothing, without knowing exactly why. It's just an intuition. A believe in irrational choices. I am using the 50mm mostly, sometimes a 35mm (3-4 years old Summicrons now). I am working quite close, 1-3 meters, always in available light, often "contre-jour", or classic 45 degree natural light to bring out the third dimension. My photography is very classic, actually, but I like experimenting in the lab, using different papers, emulsions, and toners. I don't like flash, but use it occasionally with the Contaxes, in-doors. I hope that one day I'll end up with one camera and one sole lens. That was how I started thirty years ago, when I got my first M4 and 50mm Summicron. That's all. Oddmund PS, you also wrote: >I should add that I used a quote of yours last year when speaking to a >group of high school students for a career day. I was there as the token >photographer. Your quote referenced the preparations necessary to become >a photographer and it was pretty much autobiographical in dealing with >your range of life experiences. I thought it insightful to a bunch of >kids who get caught up in form and lose sight of content. This makes me very happy...thank you! But remember, I am not better than any of you, I am a very humble and modest photographer.