Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/03/17

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Subject: Re:: [Leica] Photography, my point of view.
From: (Bob Keene/Karen Shehade)
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 09:31:33 -0500

Woof! Hey Jim- best don your flame retardent lens cleaning underwear!!!

If your images achieve the effect you are going for, then you have achieved
your aim!
Point in fact:
2 years ago I went to my wife's cousin's wedding. I am a wedding
photographer, yes, I use the "Best" equipment (Hasselblad's, Zeiss glass,
Q-Flash, etc...blah blah). At this wedding I was not the hired gun. I
painstakingly adapted a Holga camera so I could mount it on a flash bracket
with a small Vivitar flash- I knew what the equipment would produce- UNIQUE
images. Shooting XP2 film for it's wide latitude (do you have a problem
with chromegenic film as well? I know it's not silver based!), I was able
to produce a small hand made album of 3.5x5" prints for the bride and
groom. One of the images was of the bride and her father mounting the
church steps; I enlarged this into an 8x10 print framed and matted. Let me
say this- the bride and groom love the "inferior, crappy" Holga images more
than the "superior" images shot by the paid photographer.
I know many 'shooters' who can produce technically perfect, sharp, LIFELESS
images. I know what my equipment will produce. In this case the Holga did
JUST what I wanted it too- fairly crisp in the center- horribly soft on the
edges (when I shoot Hasselblads I must use a Criccio soft edge vignetter to
get the effect)
and by knowing where to be, when to be there, and having the EYE to shoot
it, knowing the LIMITATIONS of the gear- I produced MEANINGFUL if not
"technically perfect" images!
Would I use the Holga on a 'paid job'- very unlikely!! But don't tell me
that it's a waste of time!
Hell, tommorow I'm expecting delivery of a 35mm Summilux (non-ASPH)- should
I just throw it away because it's not the ASPH version?!
It's the skill and eye and anticipation of the photographer; not the gear.
True, I'm not blowing up my Holga or pinhole images to 16x20's- nor am I
producing a book made from chromes! But for God's sake, don't you dare say
that I'm wasting my time and producing crappy images! Half my crappy images
would bury some of the stuff that WPPI or PPA judges call winners!!!

Bob Keene
"Nobody's Pal"

Jim Brick wrote:

>Holga photography. Not much better. Perhaps worse. Everything I've seen
>from a Holga is crap. Why waste precious time producing unmitigated and
>useless crap. A Holga photograph looks like a Holga photograph.
>There are millions of ways of forming an image on film. This does not mean
>that the images are good. No lens, crappy image. Crappy lens, crappy image.
>There are millions of ways to make a crappy image. To make a great image,
>takes a lot of work. Much more than just pointing a box, containing film
>and some lens like object, at something and pushing a button.
>Photography takes a combination of artistic and technical skills that can
>be learned via hard work. Compositional artistic skills can be, and usually
>are, innate. Technical skills must always be learned, and will either
>enhance or degrade artistic skills. A crappy camera always degrades high
>level technical and artistic skills.
>If it's the results, and you like out of focus, low contrast, crappy
>looking photographs, sell your Leicas, leave the LUG, buy a Holga, and join
>the Holga list. Or buy a fungus ridden Summaron and Tele Elmarit. They are
>readily available. I have a Retina IIa with fungus in the lens, if anyone
>is interested. $50. Better than a Holga.