Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/10/02

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Subject: [Leica] Re: photo technique = image quality?
From: Guy Bennett <>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2000 13:21:34 +0100
References: <>

>Hi Martin and Guy:
>I'd like to quibble a bit about this.  It seems to me that to create an
>outstanding image requires both an extraordinary eye for the visual
>statement and the technical craft to pull it off.  If I was blessed with
>only one gift, I would choose having a good eye.  But I had better know
>enough craft to set appropriate exposure, focus, depth of field, shutter
>speed, etc. to create the impact that I want in the final image.  Otherwise,
>my wonderful "eye" will appear blind to the ultimate viewer of the image.  A
>painter friend of mine once commented on a water color: "a very nice idea,
>just wish he could draw".
>Bob Stack


i completely agree with you - an eye *and* a brain are necessary to make
good pictures. i was commenting on a kind of 'eyeless' photography (to
describe it that way) that seems to favor technical perfection over visual
composition. based on my own experience as a reader of books and magazines
on photography, this type of photography seems to be most frequently
produced by what i would describe as 'hard-core' zone system photographers.

don't misunderstand me: i am not against the zone system - i think it can
be very useful, and - though i'm not ready to test all aspects of my
'system' for best z-s performance - i do use a sort of simplified version
of the z-s to help determine exposure. and i'm certainly not against
knowing the craft of photography (otherwise, i wouldn't be using an m), i
just feel that the search for the technically perfect neg/print should be
accompanied by the search for an equally compelling content/composition.


n.b. and on the issue of leica dogma: if you wish to set your m on a
tripod, shoot landscapes (or whatever) at small apertures for long exposure
times, more power to you. i personally can't see doing that kind of
photography with a rangefinder, but i'm not trying to tell anybody what
they should or shouldn't use.

In reply to: Message from Martin Howard <> (Re: photo technique = image quality? [Leica] Erwin, photographic technique)